A considerable section of the food service industry, from neighborhood kebab shops to luxurious restaurants and hotels, are gearing up to prepare special Christmas and New Year’s meals for home delivery in a bid to claw back some of this year’s losses.
Restaurants that used to welcome their patrons for special meals and drinks at this time of year, often with live music, or others that used to shut down to give their staff some rest are now preparing special menus for the season, with some starting deliveries from Wednesday.
A number of enterprises are advertising their menus on their websites or social media profiles while others are sending out text message adverts for special deliveries.
Hotels are also offering seasonal delivery and takeaway services, with the Hotel Grande Bretagne taking phone orders for its special Christmas and New Year’s menus by its eminent chefs, while the Athens Plaza Hotel is offering similar services.
Well-known restaurants such as Cookoovaya, CTC, Dionysos Zonar’s and many more have joined in, while smaller restaurants, tavernas and even kebab shopsall over the country have jumped at the idea, with all preparing special menus for the festive season.
Compared to the first lockdown in spring, when more enterprises chose to remain completely closed, a much greater share of the food service sector is offering home delivery or takeaway services during this second period of curfews and restrictions. Most have reached agreements with online order and delivery platforms, while in some cases – especially regarding luxurious restaurants – deliveries are made in cooperation with a specialized company or even a car or van rental enterprise. Notably, the commission that restaurants pay those platforms reaches up to 25-26%.
Sector professionals note that this won’t really fetch the food service companies much in the way of earnings, but at least it will cover some of their operating expenses and keep the customers happy, unlike those that have remained completely shuttered since early November.
A food service entrepreneur who has chosen to keep his restaurant open during the second lockdown by preparing meals for takeaway and delivery says his weekly turnover barely reaches 1,000 euros – which used to be the amount he made in a day – especially in the festive season.